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Egészségére! Egészségére!
Spring is nothing to sneeze at — unless, of course, you are an allergy sufferer. Don't dread the warmer months! American Clinics International has treatments available — medications, steroid shots, as well as complete allergy testing.

ACI upgrades the Lobby
Just as we are getting comfortable ... our visitors get more comfortable too! Check out our re-designed waiting area, version 2.0. Try out our ergonomic chairs. Those of you who remember the old look will understand our message of very special thanks to Move One, as they managed to professionally, and creatively, remove our old reception desk and transport it to the Children Cancer Hospital.

ACI Celebrates a Healthy Business
Behind every expatriate, there is a story with a few familiar themes: packing and unpacking boxes, airplane tickets, real estate agents, new colleagues, new friends ... we all know the list. Now add to that list setting up a new business, not just a new life. It is for all of these reasons that American Clinics International is proud to celebrate its second birthday with the Budapest community.

Ask anyone at the Clinic today, and they'll say they can't believe that two years ago they were evaluating potential office space with measuring tapes to find the suitable square meterage. According to Hungarian building codes, medical space for examination rooms had to be equal or greater than 18 square meters. Now comfortably nested into the Hattyúház, ACI is expanding throughout the rest of the building. Renovations are underway in the reception and waiting area, and there are plans to expand the Clinic too, both locally and internationally.
Reflecting on two years of hard work, President and Chief Operating Officer Dennis Diokno has almost forgotten about the measuring tape. “The hardest thing for me was just adapting to a different culture and a different environment. This is actually the third country where I have been involved with setting up clinics, and I suppose my expectations were quite different. I thought it was going to be easier...”
Diokno may be one of the few in Budapest who actually boasts of having an easy time wading through the bureaucraticy of establishing a business, but then again his previous international experiences were in Russia and China. In Moscow, Diokno managed a health clinic for American Medical Centers, then moved over to International SOS's Beijing clinic. Quickly recognizing his own entrepreneurial spirit, Diokno returned to the US to assemble a business plan, a group of investors and market research on three cities: Budapest, Warsaw and Prague. When the decision was made to open in Budapest, Diokno started packing.
Still, establishing ACI was no cakewalk. “There were a few mistakes I made early on when starting the Clinic. I wasn't here all the time. I was basically commuting.” He split his time staying three or four weeks in Budapest then two or three weeks in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “Too many things fell through the cracks,” he admits. Diokno made Budapest his permanent address within that year and began implementing his ideas and management strategy. “I got the feeling by November or so that things were coming together.”
To some, it may seem odd to apply a hard, fast business model to the health care sector, but not for Diokno. Quite simply the American-trained business manager expects nothing very different from a successful medical clinic than from any other successful business model—good quality and a good team.
“We are constantly trying to add value, we are very focused on delivering the highest possible level of service to our clients. Along with this, we are very focused on the quality of the medicine that we give.” He feels that the Budapest ACI has the best facilities of any of the other clinics he has managed, and he adds, “definitely in terms of the range of services we provide, you can't even compare us with the last two clinics. We've taken the international outpatient family clinic concept to a higher level.”
But he didn't do it alone. In the first year, Diokno says that the Clinic's greatest success was when the concept of team-work started to pay off. “We all realized what it is that we are trying to do differently from a local clinic—not just a local clinic, but a local business—and what our expectations are. The staff realized what the company is trying to do regarding service, and that they were part of the strategy to improve the Clinic. Aside from the one million USD in investment, we have invested in the people who are working here, and we have invested in the procedures.”
The list of services is impressive: ACI coordinates patient visits to Hungarian hospitals; it has secured direct billing services with seven different insurance companies; it supplies clear concise invoices; and it follows up persistently with lost forms, or information details. “Even just with the phone call procedures,” he emphasizes, “our patients know if they've got a problem they can call us at 2 a.m., in English, and if they need a doctor we can provide that.” At the end of the day, or even the middle of the night, when it comes to health, ACI has cornered the market on trust, and clearly it is in this area that the medical doctors play the biggest role.
“The other success that I am really proud of is that we've developed relationships with the local health care community. We work very closely with Hungarian physicians, and we draw on their expertise.”
In China, by comparison, Eastern and Western medicine are considered to be entirely different schools of thought. And in Moscow, the clinic Diokno worked for was isolated from the local medical community. “I found it a little disturbing in fact. There was this perception that American medicine is so much superior to Russian medicine, but it wasn't a question of the local physicians. Our facility had adequate equipment and supplies that the Russian clinics did not have because of the economic situation there.”
ACI has both US-trained and Hungarian-trained doctors on staff, and it sends some of its Hungarian doctors for training and certification in the US.

1015 Budapest, Hattyu utca 14, Hattyuhaz, Fifth Floor, Tel: +36 1 224-9090  Click here to see the map.   
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